(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Chicken House on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Depression & Mental Illness, Love & Romance, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.
For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …
An important and uplifting debut from a British author, which tackles mental health issues such as agoraphobia and OCD.
I have strong opinions about mental illness, and Under Rose-Tainted Skies was a realistic, heartfelt depiction of what it’s like to live with OCD. I’m only rating it five stars because it’s not possible to give it more. There are so many stereotypes attached to OCD, and Louise Gornall tapped into what it’s like to live with relentless thoughts and unfettered compulsions. She got her character right and presented her in a way that was unflinching and justifiable.
Norah Dean had to feel safe. Not she wanted to feel safe—she had to. That’s the first thing I want to praise Gornall on. OCD had many faces, there are actually four different types of OCD, and all of those are encompassed by the need to have things a certain way. Norah needed control of her life, and she only had that type of control inside the walls of her house. Which brings me to Norah’s other devil: agoraphobia. I don’t know much about agoraphobia and hadn’t heard the word enough times to trap it inside my brain, but Norah’s worry about the outside world felt real. She had quick wit and a comeback for any and every thing, but she also had a vulnerable side. The writing flowed from page to page. URTS wasn’t heavy on the dialogue, but it didn’t need to be; I actually liked it better because I got to know Norah. She ended up being such a lovely character to become acquainted with.
I can’t even begin to articulate how much I loved the romance. There are so many words that I could attach to how I felt about it, but some are too personal while others wouldn’t do it justice. Just know that I loved Luke Tripp. He can move in next door to me any day.
Her relationship with her mother was fantastic. She loved Norah enough to work with her and try to understand her illness, and I loved her all the more for it. Her doctor also played a much-needed role in the development of the story. She almost acted like Norah’s other mother (though definitely not in a Gaiman kind of way) and answered all the phone calls and S.O.S-es Norah could throw at her.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is a book that needs to be read by everyone. I wish I could read it for the first time all over again and fall in love with the characters for the first time. If you’re as impatient as I am, you can already get a copy on Book Depository, or you can wait until January 3rd for the U.S. edition. Pre-order or order, your choice, URTS because you’ll regret it if you don’t.
‘She can leave her house whenever she wants? Ugh. So unoriginal.”